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Is January a good time to visit Ireland?
The weather in Ireland in January is usually quite mixed, so if you plan on seeing Ireland at its best, then this is probably not the month for you. There are however, many advantages to having an Ireland vacation in January, especially if your budget is tight.
Ireland in January Weather
The average temperature is between 3-8 °C (37-46 °F) and you should also expect at least some rain, with perhaps an occasional sprinkle of snow when visiting Ireland in January. For more detailed information about the weather in Ireland in January, including sections about the temperatures in Ireland in January and Dublin Ireland Weather in January read our longer post here.
Short days tend to limit outdoor activities a little, but if you plan ahead with a suitable Ireland packing list, then your travel plans shouldn’t be too badly affected!
What to do in Ireland in January?
Ireland vacation itineraries at this time of year are best geared more around city breaks and indoor activities. Particularly if it is your first time visiting Ireland, you want to make sure that you make the most of your precious Ireland vacation time.
Dublin, Galway and Cork have plenty of things to do at this time of year and are among some of the best places to visit in January.
Dublin, with its many museums, attractions and unusual things to do and see, is a great destination to explore in winter. Long evenings offer a great opportunity to get to sample traditional Irish music and while not the most authentic, Temple Bar offers live music nightly throughout the year. The Temple Bar Tradfest also takes place in January.
The cosy streets of Galway have a lovely charm, particularly during the winter months and there are some great restaurants and pubs to explore. If the weather allows, then add Connemara National Park to your itinerary. Even on a grey day, the beauty of this place is breathtaking!
Food lovers looking for some trip ideas should add Cork to their list of must-visit locations in January. The indoor English Market in the city center, is a lively place with mouthwatering local and international cuisine. Sample the food and the atmosphere to get the full experience!
Kinsale, located a short distance outside the city in County Cork offers not only a wide array of gourmet restaurants, but also a charming harbor town with an impressive 17th century military fort, lovely beaches and some good surfing options (if you are willing to brave the cold January water temperature!).
However, if you want to explore the long beaches, stunning headlands and most famous attractions in almost relative solitude, then this is an excellent month to escape the crowds.
Road conditions can be icy at this time of year, so take care on country roads.
Ireland’s coast in winter, with mesmerizing waves from winter storms crashing and shaping the coastline, is also magnificent. If you do head to the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula or other headland areas, avoid straying too close to the edge. The gusts of wind can be unpredictable and catch you completely off guard!
Visiting Ireland in January?
While January is not probably the best time to visit Ireland, you will still manage to explore and enjoy your trip very much.
In Ireland, hotels tend to have plenty of vacancies in January. The lower prices at this time of year and the long evenings make it very tempting to indulge in some luxury accommodation.
Regardless of whether you would like a detoxing New Year break or a special castle hotel stay, this is a good time to get deals on some of Ireland’s best hotels.
Cheaper flights and accommodation are among the best advantages for travelling at low season. This is definitely worth considering if you are travelling planning a transatlantic flight from the United States.
Don’t forget to plan ahead and check travel guides in advance to make sure that the attractions that you want to visit are open and that you are not caught out with the wrong opening hours.
If you interested in some more Ireland travel tips such as the best time to go to Ireland, read our longer post. If you want to learn more about Ireland’s weather in January, click to read our detailed post here. It also includes a section on the weather in Dublin in January.
Still a little unsure of when to visit? Read the Ireland in February article to help you compare which month best suits your itinerary and budget.